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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

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            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                   Tuesday, March 10, 2009

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

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                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

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            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS (Not present.)

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            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

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           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

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                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

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           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            1   (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of reflection

 

            2   observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please.

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      (Mrs. Evans not present.)

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Here.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Let the record

 

           14              reflect that Mrs. Evans called before and

 

           15              indicated that she will not be at tonight's

 

           16              meeting due to illness.  Dispense with the

 

           17              reading of the minutes.

 

           18                      MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER.  NO

 

           19              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Garvey.

 

           21              Any announcements?

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, I have some,

 

           23              Mr. McGoff.  On Sunday, March 29, from one

 

           24              to eight at Novak's Food and Spirits on

 

           25              Boulevard Avenue in Dickson City there will


 

 

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            1              a pasta dinner.  All proceeds will benefit

 

            2              Ryan's Memorial Fund.  Ryan Mason Mehalchick

 

            3              died unexpectedly in his sleep after his

 

            4              first birthday.  His grandmother, Dolly, was

 

            5              one of the directors at the Lackawanna

 

            6              County Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse

 

            7              for the county, so we would like to see

 

            8              everyone support this effort.

 

            9                      The spring festival of St. Francis

 

           10              of Assisi Church will also be Sunday,

 

           11              March 29 from noon to four.  There will be

 

           12              polenta and meatballs or rigatoni and

 

           13              meatballs, and adults is $8.50.

 

           14                      I would just like to compliment the

 

           15              Scranton Police Department and also the

 

           16              District Attorney's Office for their

 

           17              expeditious arrest of the vandals in South

 

           18              Scranton that have sprayed graffiti

 

           19              throughout the courts in lower South Side.

 

           20              They also were up in the Connell Park area

 

           21              and the district attorney was up in that

 

           22              area, also, so we would like to praise their

 

           23              efforts for attacking that in an expeditious

 

           24              manner.

 

           25                      I would also like to comment on the


 

 

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            1              arrest of Darak Williams and Kashema

 

            2              Reddish.  The people that were accused of

 

            3              beating the three-year-old Kavannah Salvador

 

            4              to death last year.  I reported last meeting

 

            5              that District Attorney Gene Talerico had

 

            6              asked us to watch America's Most Wanted on

 

            7              Saturday night.  I hope you watched it, it

 

            8              was an excellent show, and lo and behold on

 

            9              Sunday they were arrested in Buffalo, New

 

           10              York, so it pays to have things on America's

 

           11              Most Wanted.

 

           12                      The St. Patrick's Day parade is this

 

           13              Saturday at 11:45.  It starts at the 200

 

           14              block of Wyoming Avenue.  I would just

 

           15              encourage everyone who is attending to

 

           16              please watch your open containers and I hope

 

           17              that the bars will do what they did last

 

           18              year and open a little later.  It's very

 

           19              disconcerting when you have your children

 

           20              and grandchildren there and people are

 

           21              drinking and vomiting, you know, around your

 

           22              children.

 

           23                      So, please, if all of the bars abide

 

           24              by what they did last year, and I believe it

 

           25              was the district attorney that asked them


 

 

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            1              and council to do that, not to open very

 

            2              early in the morning like they had in the

 

            3              previous years, and you know, several years

 

            4              ago we did have a death as a result of the

 

            5              parade and the drinking, so I would like to

 

            6              caution everyone to please, please watch

 

            7              your alcohol intake and stay away from the

 

            8              parade if you are in that condition.

 

            9                      The Actor's Circle is starting the

 

           10              play "You Can't Take It With You."  It's on

 

           11              March 20 to the 22n, and the 27th to the

 

           12              29th, Friday and Sunday at 8:00, Sunday at

 

           13              2:00 at the Providence Playhouse.

 

           14                      And the last thing I have to

 

           15              announce is I don't know if too many of you

 

           16              have heard about it, but there is plans to

 

           17              put an Ethanol plant in Taylor.  They have

 

           18              been meeting in Taylor for several meetings

 

           19              now with the planning commission and Taylor

 

           20              Council.  The South Side Residents

 

           21              Association has also met concerning that

 

           22              issue because it will be right across the

 

           23              river from South Scranton.  At our last

 

           24              meeting we did have people from Taylor and

 

           25              people from West Scranton attend our


 

 

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            1              meeting.  We are keeping our eyes open for

 

            2              what is going to happen and I can assure you

 

            3              that anything that's going to happen in

 

            4              South Scranton will be fought vigorously by

 

            5              our neighborhood association and we are

 

            6              working with several people in West

 

            7              Scranton, also, because it is going to

 

            8              effect our two neighborhoods directly, so

 

            9              I'll keep you posted on that.  And that's

 

           10              all I have.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Two things

 

           12              before we go to citizen's participation.  I

 

           13              would like to recognize in attendance

 

           14              members of Boy Scout Troop Seven from the

 

           15              Valley View Terrace apartments who are here

 

           16              this evening with this us I believe gaining

 

           17              their citizenship in the community badge.

 

           18              Thank you for your attendance.

 

           19                      Also, an announcement that next

 

           20              week's meeting has been rescheduled to

 

           21              Monday evening, the 16th, at 6:30.  Please

 

           22              mark it down.  Next week's meeting will be

 

           23              on Monday evening rather than Tuesday.

 

           24                      I'd also like to mention that during

 

           25              our caucus Mrs. Darcy and Mr. Migliorie were


 

 

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            1              here and showed us the new equipment that

 

            2              has been purchased for the chamber.  The

 

            3              cameras and the equipment that operates it,

 

            4              I have no idea how it works, but it was

 

            5              pretty impressive state of the art for

 

            6              cameras and remotely controlled from in

 

            7              there somewhere.

 

            8                      If there is anyone that at some

 

            9              point in time would like to look at the

 

           10              equipment, please, you know, just at the end

 

           11              of the meeting or whatever check with the

 

           12              people from ECTV and I'm sure they would be

 

           13              happy to show you what it has been purchased

 

           14              and what is being utilized in the city hall

 

           15              and council chambers, and that's all, and

 

           16              fourth order.  Citizens' participation.

 

           17              Bill Jackowitz.

 

           18                      MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, Council

 

           19              President, council members.  Bill Jackowitz,

 

           20              South Scranton resident, member of the

 

           21              Scranton Taxpayers' Association.  Well, it's

 

           22              been a long hard nine months with ECTV.

 

           23              Let's hope they finally got everything in

 

           24              order now and let's hope that the cameras

 

           25              work and let's press on with the public


 

 

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            1              meetings.

 

            2                      Okay, unemployment, a favorite

 

            3              subject as you all know.  Unemployment, 8

 

            4              percent locally, 8.1 percent nationally.

 

            5              Finally, the nation has a higher

 

            6              unemployment rate than the

 

            7              Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazelton metropolitan

 

            8              area.  Although our region had a full 1

 

            9              percent higher unemployment rate than the

 

           10              State of Pennsylvania, I would like to thank

 

           11              James Haggerty of the Scranton Times-Tribune

 

           12              for his front page article Sunday, 8 March

 

           13              2009, "Northeast Pennsylvania no stranger to

 

           14              hard times."

 

           15                      I've been speaking about the

 

           16              horrible economic conditions for five years.

 

           17              On many occasions I have stated that this

 

           18              has been an ongoing situation for over five

 

           19              decades.  Mr. Haggerty points that out in

 

           20              his article, several examples.  He points

 

           21              out an old adage about the Scranton area.

 

           22              When the national economy catches a cold

 

           23              Scranton gets pneumonia.

 

           24                      In 1978 the national unemployment

 

           25              rate, and please, I hope everyone pays


 

 

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            1              attention to these figures, in 1978 the

 

            2              national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent,

 

            3              the local rate 8 percent.  In 1982 the

 

            4              national unemployment rate was 9 percent,

 

            5              the local rate 12 percent.  In 1949 the

 

            6              national unemployment rate was 7 percent,

 

            7              the local rate 18 percent.  In 1940 the

 

            8              national unemployment rate was 14.6 percent,

 

            9              the local rate was 32 percent.

 

           10                      During the Great Depression the

 

           11              national unemployment rate was 24 percent,

 

           12              the local unemployment rate was 48 percent.

 

           13              The Times-Tribune also provided a graph, a

 

           14              monthly chart, seasonally adjusted

 

           15              unemployment rates from January 1970 to

 

           16              December 2008.  I have asked council on

 

           17              numerous occasions to invite Mr. Austin

 

           18              Burke and the Scranton Chamber of Commerce

 

           19              to attend the Scranton City Council meeting

 

           20              to address these serious economic and

 

           21              work-related issues.  Again, my request has

 

           22              fallen on deaf ears.  Marching orders again

 

           23              got in the way.  Mr. Burke states in

 

           24              Mr. Haggerty's article, and I quote, "I am

 

           25              hopeful that we won't be some multiple of


 

 

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            1              the national average."

 

            2                      My interpretation, and only my

 

            3              interpretation, I really am not concerned.

 

            4              I make a six figure salary every year and

 

            5              have for over 28 years.  We need more KOZ's

 

            6              and tax exempt businesses and property in

 

            7              Scranton.

 

            8                      Also, it is not my fault that we

 

            9              have no work or high wages in the area.  The

 

           10              fault lies with the speakers at Scranton

 

           11              City Council.  They drive potential

 

           12              employers away from the area.  Way to go,

 

           13              Legion of Doom.

 

           14                      Don't let the facts get in the way

 

           15              of a good story.  My hope is that more

 

           16              factual and actual stories will be reported

 

           17              by the two local newspapers, the

 

           18              Times-Tribune and the Times Leader Scranton

 

           19              Edition.  Investigative reporting is what is

 

           20              needed, not just writing quotes down and

 

           21              reporting them as facts.  For those

 

           22              Scrantonians who have never lived anywhere

 

           23              else except Scranton, Scranton is a good

 

           24              city to raise your kids and live after

 

           25              retirement.  Not a good place to earn a


 

 

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            1              living and support yourself and your family

 

            2              unless you are politically connected.  The

 

            3              local elected officials in chamber take care

 

            4              of themselves and their own with little or

 

            5              no regard for anyone else.  Remember, the

 

            6              Doherty will people and the Fanucci my

 

            7              people, quotes from the mayor and council

 

            8              woman, not on my words, just repeating them.

 

            9                      Finally, I would like to thank

 

           10              Captain Paul Tarino and Captain Bob Seda and

 

           11              all the Scranton firefighters and police

 

           12              officers who are willing to risk their lives

 

           13              on a daily basis to save someone else's

 

           14              life.  Captain Tarino and Captain Seda saved

 

           15              a person in South Side in the 1200 block of

 

           16              South Webster Avenue two blocks away from my

 

           17              house.  And also the United States military

 

           18              and all honorably discharged veterans that

 

           19              protect this country every day of the year.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           21              Jackowitz.  Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           22                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           23              citizen of Scranton.  Fellow Scrantonians, I

 

           24              remember when Scranton Today I believe

 

           25              wanted to use that room and they were


 

 

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            1              evicted from it.  Now, ECTV has all of the

 

            2              rights to that room.  Is there a politics

 

            3              involved?  You better believe it.

 

            4                      Okay, let's get onto 5-B.  I'm not

 

            5              criticizing about them I'm just wondering

 

            6              what is it for, is it going to be a

 

            7              restaurant or what?  It's the 225,000 loan?

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Danielle and Company.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, it's not a

 

           10              restaurant.  She makes products like soaps

 

           11              with different scents and products --

 

           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Is that what it's

 

           13              doing?

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: -- like that.  Yeah.

 

           15                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Okay.  Let's get down

 

           16              to 7-A, my favorite.  Does anyone know what

 

           17              the citizens of Scranton are going to

 

           18              receive for the 11 1/2 million dollars we

 

           19              are putting into the Connell building plus a

 

           20              garage which is probably another eight or

 

           21              nine?  It comes out to be about 20 million.

 

           22              What are we going to get for this 20

 

           23              million, a viable building?  Who is going to

 

           24              make more on this deal, the people had own

 

           25              the Connell building or the citizens of


 

 

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            1              Scranton?  And better yet, how much did they

 

            2              pay to get that building?  I don't think it

 

            3              was that much if I remember right.  We got

 

            4              ten times probably more than they pay for

 

            5              the building into it, the public at large.

 

            6                      Jesus, something is wrong somewhere.

 

            7              Really something is wrong.  Every time you

 

            8              pick up the paper people are losing their

 

            9              homes, but yet we have millions of dollars

 

           10              put into one building or five or six

 

           11              buildings.  We got -- if you add it all up

 

           12              we got 30 plus another 20, about $50 million

 

           13              we invested in a few buildings in Scranton.

 

           14              You really think that is smart to really put

 

           15              that much money into a few buildings?  No.

 

           16              Unless somebody is getting something out of

 

           17              it there is certainly no big financial

 

           18              status.

 

           19                      Okay.  You know what I think about

 

           20              subordinate loans.  I get tired of you

 

           21              subordinates, subordinates, subordinates.

 

           22              What good is giving a loan if you are going

 

           23              to subordinate it?  Really, really, really,

 

           24              if you take -- you tell us that we are going

 

           25              to have prime -- if anything goes wrong we


 

 

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            1              are going to get our money because we get

 

            2              all of the equipment and building and this

 

            3              and that and whatever, you subordinate it

 

            4              and we get nothing.  Surely the Hilton must

 

            5              have thought something.  When we subordinate

 

            6              our loan for the Hilton, we took bed sheets,

 

            7              fixtures on the wall and what do we get for

 

            8              it?  Nothing.  And that deal stunk from the

 

            9              very beginning.  I know most of you weren't

 

           10              sitting on council when that happened.  I

 

           11              told Gary that time when they said we are

 

           12              going to close the building, I said let him

 

           13              close it.  I'm sure somebody would have

 

           14              bought it, there is no question about it.

 

           15              That man got a $33 million building for 13.

 

           16              How do you like that for bargaining?  I

 

           17              guess the only place that's really better is

 

           18              in Detroit.  I guess they got good bargains

 

           19              out there now.

 

           20                      But this is what I mean about the

 

           21              city.  You got to take care of the people

 

           22              inside of the city, the people who are

 

           23              paying that wage tax, 3.4 percent we are

 

           24              paying.  Of course, the city I know only

 

           25              pays 2.4.  But we are paying 3.4.  Everyone


 

 

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            1              else around us is paying one and still what

 

            2              are we doing to the people?  You are really

 

            3              sticking their heads into the mud.  I'm

 

            4              surprised at you really that you don't look

 

            5              at the city in a different light.  You don't

 

            6              and I don't understand why.

 

            7                      Some people said this or that, but I

 

            8              love the city, that's why I stayed in it.  I

 

            9              paid that 3.2 percent as a construction

 

           10              worker and they are quite high, but I paid

 

           11              it because I love the city and I believe you

 

           12              should give something back to the city.

 

           13              They gave me the opportunity to grow up here

 

           14              and it was wonderful time to grow up in

 

           15              Scranton at that time.  You didn't have what

 

           16              you have now.  You weren't afraid to walk

 

           17              the streets.  The streets were even in

 

           18              better shape, but there weren't that many

 

           19              cars to go over them, but that's how it was

 

           20              back then.  I go way back.  I was born in

 

           21              the 30's, and like I say, it was a good

 

           22              time, in fact, it was a real good time to be

 

           23              born because the world was about going to

 

           24              begin.  Of course, the people that fought it

 

           25              don't think so, but as a kid it was.  Thank


 

 

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            1              you.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,

 

            3              Mr. Sbaraglia.  Ozzie Quinn.

 

            4                      MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'

 

            5              Association.  The administration's lack of

 

            6              spending on infrastructure maintenance, that

 

            7              is, the potholes, sidewalks and the curbs

 

            8              that are deteriorated along with no home

 

            9              improvement and repair for homeowners are

 

           10              seriously short of what is required to

 

           11              maintain neighborhoods.  Anyone can confirm

 

           12              this by taking a drive or walk around some

 

           13              of the neighborhoods.  Yet, we all at the

 

           14              end of the 2008, the taxpayers owe

 

           15              $170 million principle only, and the mayor

 

           16              has spent over $50 million in CDBG funds

 

           17              since he took over using the buckshot

 

           18              approach.

 

           19                      Since a speaker last week said that

 

           20              all cities are financially suffering, let it

 

           21              be clear that the administration's debt

 

           22              occurred long before the recession.  What

 

           23              has happened to all of the money?  We know

 

           24              for one thing that it is a result of poor

 

           25              fiscal and physical planning and has to be


 

 

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            1              stopped.  The taxpayers cannot afford this

 

            2              debt.  What about the firefighters and the

 

            3              police, how are they going to be paid?

 

            4              Their mayor wants to eliminate fire stations

 

            5              and yet build a new library in South Side

 

            6              with taxpayers' money.  Where are we going

 

            7              to stop?  Enough is enough.  I just want to

 

            8              point out also the fact that the mayor has

 

            9              expended $2,062,302 on lawyers to fight the

 

           10              unions at city hall.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Quinn.

 

           12              Stephanie Gawel.

 

           13                      MS. GAWEL: Good evening, Council.

 

           14              It's been very long 17-years since PEL paid

 

           15              by Harrisburg arrived here to recover this

 

           16              city from distressed status, it appears that

 

           17              after 17 long years in ain't working, and

 

           18              they simply say the unions got to go.  This

 

           19              is the same time of thinking that was

 

           20              present around the early 20th century when

 

           21              greedy business owners and politicians

 

           22              treated people like they shouldn't exist.

 

           23              The unsafe working conditions, the low and

 

           24              menial paid, long working hours, and if you

 

           25              don't like if just quit attitude, that's


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              just the way it was.  If you are a union

 

            2              member you know these are the same people

 

            3              back in those days had to fight to organize

 

            4              unions.  These workers and their families

 

            5              were harassed, injured and in some cases

 

            6              killed all for the right to form unions that

 

            7              now provide safe working conditions, better

 

            8              wages and paid overtime.

 

            9                      This administration would like

 

           10              everyone to believe that the police and

 

           11              firefighters' unions are the reasons we are

 

           12              still distressed status.  There are many

 

           13              unions out there that have a right to call

 

           14              in sick, work slowdowns and strike.  Both

 

           15              the fraternal order of police and the fire

 

           16              unions gave up their rights to strike for

 

           17              fair arbitration that was voted into law.

 

           18              So it makes you wonder why this

 

           19              administration continues to waste taxpayers'

 

           20              money.

 

           21                      We voted for the unions to have fair

 

           22              arbitration.  This administration is

 

           23              arrogant, ignorant and incompetent when it

 

           24              continues to give NCC business.  We have a

 

           25              tax office, all we need to do is hire one or


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              two more other employees that would do

 

            2              exactly what NCC is doing except we would

 

            3              get all of the money collected.  The fact

 

            4              that this administration doesn't care to

 

            5              speak to it's citizens of Scranton, but to

 

            6              the people of the Chamber of Commerce which

 

            7              is basically businessmen and women from

 

            8              outside of the area, whether it's Dunmore,

 

            9              the Abingtons, etcetera.

 

           10                      This administration doesn't care

 

           11              about the safety of the citizens because the

 

           12              only thing the police cars -- in the police

 

           13              cars are a First Aid kit.  They used to have

 

           14              oxygen, defibrillators, flares, etcetera.

 

           15              We still don't have these and I know we have

 

           16              talked about it and stuff, but truly this --

 

           17              he just doesn't worry about our safety

 

           18              issues.  He has talked about closing the

 

           19              more fire companies and stuff like that and

 

           20              it's just not right.  It's just not.

 

           21                      And, you know, Mrs. Gatelli, you

 

           22              stated once that, well, I can sit and talk

 

           23              to my union.  Well, yeah, because you have

 

           24              the power to strike.  It puts a little more

 

           25              pressure on them.  First off, nothing


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              against, you know, but most parents don't

 

            2              want to be home all day with the kids.  You

 

            3              know, there is a lot of them are going, no,

 

            4              they are supposed to be in school, and these

 

            5              gentleman and women who put their lives on

 

            6              the lines don't have that option.  They just

 

            7              don't have it.  It's not right.

 

            8                      And I'd like to just make one more

 

            9              comment, I realize that we seem to have the

 

           10              same speakers week after week, but these

 

           11              people truly do look into their information

 

           12              for the most part.  You have one or two that

 

           13              don't, and to pick on them is unfair.  I

 

           14              know I have been up here and I'm trying to

 

           15              encourage other people to put fresh faces on

 

           16              all the issues, but truly we need not to

 

           17              pick on the ten that do take their time,

 

           18              like Marie and Andy and Ozzie that, you

 

           19              know, look up their information before they

 

           20              come up and speak.  Thank you.  Have a nice

 

           21              night.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gawel.

 

           23              Marie Schumacher.

 

           24                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening,

 

           25              Council.  Marie Schumacher, resident and


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              member of the Taxpayers' Association.

 

            2              First, I know I'm wasting my breath, but I

 

            3              also am against 7-C.  I don't think the

 

            4              citizens and the taxpayers' equity should be

 

            5              subordinated to the banks.

 

            6                      Second, I would like to ask Mrs.

 

            7              Gatelli what the status is of the Single Tax

 

            8              Office audit report.  I thought by now we

 

            9              would have that.  We seem to have nothing

 

           10              but excuses and delays.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Would you like me to

 

           12              answer now or in motions?

 

           13                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Yes, please, because

 

           14              last week I asked and you didn't do it in

 

           15              motions so I'll give some of my time.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, I made a report

 

           17              about the tax report in motions.

 

           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Not what I asked.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I'm sorry, I

 

           20              apologize if I didn't answer you completely.

 

           21              I spoke to Mr. McGovern last night and he

 

           22              told me that they there setting up the dates

 

           23              for the meeting.  The audit is done, the

 

           24              Treasury Department has looked over the

 

           25              audit and now they are just waiting to set


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              the meeting.

 

            2                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you.  Now,

 

            3              I'll continue with the letter I wrote to

 

            4              Mr. Cornelius, the head of the State

 

            5              Department of Community and Economic

 

            6              Development with the concerns I have

 

            7              regarding the variances from the Recovery

 

            8              Plan.  "The 27th payroll issue is

 

            9              highlighted, noting resolution should be

 

           10              reviewed with the auditors.  A scant two

 

           11              years later it became apparent the issue was

 

           12              not properly addressed resulting in wasted

 

           13              arbitration and legal fees.

 

           14                      Next, city pension funding was

 

           15              premised to trend upward, but remained well

 

           16              below the 2000 actual.  2005 was 86 percent

 

           17              of 2000 which I don't consider well below.

 

           18                      Another premise was Nay Aug Park

 

           19              expenditure is assumed to bear a one-time

 

           20              cost which is not carried forward from 2005

 

           21              through -- excuse me, from 2003 through

 

           22              2007.  Nay Aug Park has continued to be a

 

           23              money pit which is bottomless.

 

           24                      PEL was concerned about an action

 

           25              that would have eliminated the cash payments


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              to the city for the DPW land.  This cash

 

            2              payment of $600,000 has yet to be received

 

            3              by the city.

 

            4                      In 1998, a formal certification was

 

            5              issued which called on the city to develop a

 

            6              balanced budget.  Identify and adopt a

 

            7              course of action to correct it's structural

 

            8              financial imbalances.  Ten years later there

 

            9              has not been a budget balanced without

 

           10              incurring debt or utilizing a one-time

 

           11              revenue item.

 

           12                      The current administration incurred

 

           13              a $5.5 million termination fee when they

 

           14              chose not to renew their contract with

 

           15              American Anglican Environmental

 

           16              Technologies.

 

           17                      DCED's fourth amendatory order

 

           18              directed the mayor and city council to

 

           19              achieve consensus on the principal of a

 

           20              revised Recovery Plan for 2001 and beyond.

 

           21              The adopted Recovery Plan ran through 2005

 

           22              without a similar order for 2006 and beyond

 

           23              and here we are in 2009.

 

           24                      The figures outlined in Chapter 1-B

 

           25              of the Recovery Plan serve as the keystone


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              leading to a reasonable realistic and

 

            2              achievable course of action to address the

 

            3              continuing long-term issues.  How close did

 

            4              the city come to meeting these projections?

 

            5                      Chapter 1-B assumed that TAN-B would

 

            6              remain at about $3,200,000 but has been more

 

            7              in the neighborhood of $10 million annually.

 

            8                      The 27th payroll issue is

 

            9              highlighted."

 

           10                      No, no, I'm sorry.  I did that one.

 

           11              "The city pension --" I have two of the

 

           12              wrong pages.  I'm sorry.  I will have to

 

           13              conclude it next week.  I copied -- I

 

           14              brought two page two's and no page three,

 

           15              I'm sorry, and my glasses are falling apart.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Did you receive an

 

           17              answer from them as of yet?

 

           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I received an

 

           19              unanswered letter which I will -- I received

 

           20              a letter which said nothing but it's all

 

           21              like firemen and policeman's fault

 

           22              addressing none of the specific items where

 

           23              council and the mayor have strayed from the

 

           24              Recovery Plan, and I will write to

 

           25              Mr. Cornelius as soon as I get my taxes


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              done.

 

            2                      And one while we on -- we talked

 

            3              about Nay Aug and the money that has been

 

            4              wasted there is just pitiful.  Recently we

 

            5              had the problems with the fish.  That

 

            6              pavilion, there was no reason for that

 

            7              pavilion to collapse except for neglected

 

            8              maintenance which seems to be the keystone

 

            9              at Nay Aug and every place.  Put the money

 

           10              into doing something, make a capital expense

 

           11              and then forget about it and leave it.  That

 

           12              pavilion should have been taken down or

 

           13              heated.

 

           14                      The wildlife center is another

 

           15              issue.  Now, the mayor took 175 million --

 

           16              or, excuse me, I wish $175,000 from the

 

           17              state to -- I'll finish this and then leave,

 

           18              for the Wildlife Center when they moved in,

 

           19              and that whole $175,000 went guess where, to

 

           20              architects to come up with a design for a

 

           21              new zoo, and now what do we want to build, a

 

           22              library in South Scranton.  Thank you.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Ms.

 

           24              Schumacher.  Les Spindler.

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              Les Spindler, city resident and taxpayer and

 

            2              homeowner.  The traffic light that council

 

            3              is voting on Linden Street for the office

 

            4              park, I think council should think twice

 

            5              about passing that.  I think it's on public

 

            6              safety issue.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Les, can I interrupt

 

            8              one second?  We are going to table that

 

            9              tonight because there is some issues.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: And I voted "no" last

 

           11              week, Mr. Spindler.  I agree with you.

 

           12                      MR. SPINDLER: In the winter going up

 

           13              the hill in people are stuck, they are going

 

           14              to get stuck.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We discussed that.

 

           16                      MR. SPINDLER: Coming down around the

 

           17              corner where you got bridges, I think it's a

 

           18              safety issue.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's exactly what

 

           20              we discussed in caucus so we are going to

 

           21              table it.

 

           22                      MR. SPINDLER:  Thank you.  Last

 

           23              week, Mrs. Gatelli, you asked about why some

 

           24              speakers just pick on Mrs. Fanucci and

 

           25              Mr. Minora about the parking tickets, well,


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              as a matter of fact, myself and

 

            2              Mr. Jackowitz were the only two had spoken,

 

            3              neither one of us mentioned Mr. Minora, so

 

            4              thank you for bringing that to light.

 

            5                      MR. GATELLI:  I believe Mr. Minora

 

            6              was questioned about his parking tickets.

 

            7                      MR. SPINDLER: Look at the -- go back

 

            8              and look at the tapes.  I know for a fact I

 

            9              didn't and Mr. Jackowitz didn't.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, someone did,

 

           11              because he answered the question.

 

           12                      MR. SPINDLER:  The reason I asked

 

           13              Mrs. Fanucci because she is an elected

 

           14              official and she should be held to a higher

 

           15              standard.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: I agree, but I think

 

           17              all elected officials should be looked at.

 

           18                      MR. SPINDLER: Mrs. Fanucci, if this

 

           19              hadn't been brought to light would you have

 

           20              paid those parking tickets?

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  The two I had?  The

 

           22              two I had?

 

           23                      MR. SPINDLER:  Would you have?

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.  I pay my parking

 

           25              tickets all the time.


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1                      MR. SPINDLER: I highly doubt.  Why

 

            2              did it take you eight years to do it?

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Les, why don't you go

 

            4              down and find out how many parking tickets I

 

            5              have paid in the past and then come back

 

            6              here.

 

            7                      MR. SPINDLER: Yeah, well, I don't --

 

            8              here is 15 you didn't pay.  Here is 15 you

 

            9              didn't pay.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: That's not true.

 

           11                      MR. SPINDLER: Right here, black and

 

           12              white.  Right here.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yeah, I'd love to see

 

           14              that.  Bring that to one to me, too, Les.

 

           15                      MR. SPINDLER: You know where they

 

           16              can be found.  Moving on.  Last week,

 

           17              Mrs. Gatelli, you also said in the past

 

           18              there was a three to two majority and you

 

           19              said they couldn't get things done.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  No, I said they didn't

 

           21              stop the mayor from doing anything.

 

           22                      MR. SPINDLER: Well, you know why

 

           23              they couldn't stop the mayor --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  Why?

 

           25                      MR. SPINDLER:  -- Mrs. Gatelli,


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              because every time they voted to do

 

            2              something with the 3/2 majority the mayor

 

            3              would veto it and they didn't have a four to

 

            4              one majority to override it either.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: Well, Mrs. Spindler,

 

            6              are you aware that the president puts things

 

            7              on the agenda?  So the president could have

 

            8              kept everything off that agenda.

 

            9                      MR. SPINDLER: But the mayor --

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: And stopped the mayor

 

           11              right in his tracks.  Nothing would have

 

           12              been put on that agenda.

 

           13                      MR. SPINDLER: Council made motions

 

           14              to do things.  I know, I was here.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  I disagree with you.

 

           16                      MR. SPINDLER: You weren't here.  I

 

           17              was here.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, it's up to the

 

           19              president to put things on the agenda.

 

           20                      MR. SPINDLER: Council wanted to do

 

           21              this for the taxpayers, the mayor vetoed it

 

           22              and they didn't -- the mayor had his two

 

           23              puppets there to go along with him so they

 

           24              couldn't override the veto.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  I'll talk more about


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              that in motions because you are wrong,

 

            2              Mr. Spindler.

 

            3                      MR. SPINDLER: No, I'm not.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, you are.

 

            5                      MR. SPINDLER: And I think there is a

 

            6              lot of witnesses here.  Okay, CDTV or ECTV,

 

            7              elect Chris TV, got booted out of their

 

            8              building now, I'd like to know what's going

 

            9              to happen to all of the money that was put

 

           10              into there, all of the thousands and

 

           11              thousands of dollars and are they going to

 

           12              come back and ask for more money for the new

 

           13              building they will have to move into?

 

           14                      Next thing, I hear Molly Branigan's

 

           15              is closing after the St. Patrick's Day

 

           16              parade, I don't know when after, but they

 

           17              are closing after the parade, and I hear the

 

           18              Banshee is for sale, so we can add those

 

           19              couple of buildings to the list of

 

           20              unoccupied buildings.

 

           21                      Mr. Courtright, last week you were

 

           22              talking about parking tickets that you got

 

           23              and you paid them and you said you'd love to

 

           24              know how you can get them fixed, well, just

 

           25              ask Mrs. Fanucci, she got 15 of them fixed.


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: That's unfair.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Please, that's wrong.

 

            3                      MR. SPINDLER: No, it isn't.  It's a

 

            4              fact.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: That's out of order.

 

            6                      MR. SPINDLER: It's a fact.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: It's out of order.

 

            8                      MR. SPINDLER: There's 15 she got

 

            9              dismissed.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Spindler, it's out

 

           11              of order.

 

           12                      MR. SPINDLER:  No, it's freedom of

 

           13              speech.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: No, it's not.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: It's wrong freedom of

 

           16              speech, but it's freedom of speech.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  You made an accusation

 

           18              of a criminal activity.  That is it not

 

           19              freedom of speech.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: The big scandal,

 

           21              parking tickets, Les.  That's what it was

 

           22              all about.

 

           23                      MR. SPINDLER:  A 16-year-old boy was

 

           24              arrested Saturday, he attempted to rape a

 

           25              University of Scranton student then he was


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              caught following other students into her

 

            2              dorm, and they think that -- the police

 

            3              think it's a the same person that attacked

 

            4              two people in West Scranton last week.  That

 

            5              can't be true because Mayor Doherty says we

 

            6              don't have crime in this city.

 

            7                      Lastly, I have spoken about and

 

            8              other people have spoken about what's going

 

            9              on with North Scranton Junior High School.

 

           10              I think it would be a good idea for council

 

           11              to ask Mr. Langan to come in for a caucus so

 

           12              he could be asked a lot of questions the

 

           13              citizens have.  Would that be a possibility?

 

           14              Mr. McGoff?

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm sure the invitation

 

           16              could be extended.

 

           17                      MR. SPINDLER:  Well, could you look

 

           18              into that, please?

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           20                      MR. SPINDLER:  Okay.  Thank you.

 

           21                      MS. SUETTA: Why is everybody

 

           22              smiling.  Good evening, Jean Suetta.  Judy,

 

           23              I'm glad you come out of the closet.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  I did?

 

           25                      MS. SUETTA: Didn't you just come out


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              of that one before?  All right.  Question

 

            2              number one --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Don't tell my husband

 

            4              that, Jeannie.

 

            5                      MS. SUETTA: I don't know.  You just

 

            6              told me you were in the closet before.  Did

 

            7              we get recycling bins up at Nay Aug?

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  No, I don't think yet

 

            9              we did.  I don't think --

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA: What's the holdup.  I

 

           11              mean, they have a lot of them down the DPW,

 

           12              it won't hurt to put them by all the

 

           13              containers.  Bill, what about Jerry Langan?

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: What about him?

 

           15                      MS. SUETTA:  I asked you last week

 

           16              to find out why they blocked that monument

 

           17              that nobody goes to.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I haven't

 

           19              found out yet, Jean.

 

           20                      MS. SUETTA:  Why?

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I did not get a

 

           22              chance.

 

           23                      MS. SUETTA:  I gave you a whole

 

           24              week.  Judy, he got a week, you got two.

 

           25              How many cars run through Nay Aug.


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: 200,000 I was told.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA:  200,000.  That's almost

 

            3              a quarter of a million.  If everybody gave a

 

            4              donation --

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, but everybody

 

            6              doesn't give a donation unfortunately.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: There is few and far

 

            8              apart.  Where did all of the money go?

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Goes to the

 

           10              conservatory.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: It goes to the Nay Aug

 

           12              Conservancy the money.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: But where did it go?

 

           14              They only --

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  $47,000 they paid.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA: Right, 200,000 care went

 

           17              through, a lot of people go through.  I gave

 

           18              ten, my friend gave ten.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Some people don't give

 

           20              any.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.  It's not

 

           22              required.

 

           23                      MS. SUETTA:  So the other ones

 

           24              compensate what they didn't give.  200,000

 

           25              cars, come on.  That's a lot of cars.


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, it is.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA:  There is a lot of money

 

            3              and somebody was dipping into the till.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Oh, I don't think so.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't say that.

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA: Oh, yeah.  And, yes, I

 

            7              will say it.  And, Sherry, if you need money

 

            8              for your parking tickets I'll give it to

 

            9              you.  I'll be a good person.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: I'll be okay.  They are

 

           11              paid, Jean.

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA: I'm only busting you.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I know.

 

           14                      MS. SUETTA:  When are we getting the

 

           15              Christmas decorations out of the front.

 

           16              Stupid question.  I, mean it's March 10.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I thought that myself.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: They are probably in

 

           19              for St. Patrick's Day.  They must be green.

 

           20                      MS. SUETTA: No, there is white

 

           21              sticks out there, too.  So we only collected

 

           22              47,000.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

           24                      MS. SUETTA: There is a rotten egg.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: It was tough Christmas


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              for everybody.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA: I want to know about the

 

            3              memorial.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I will find out for

 

            5              you.  You call me enough, you should have

 

            6              asked me again.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: Well, I did, but now you

 

            8              didn't return my call.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think you dialed

 

           10              the wrong number.

 

           11                      MS. SUETTA: No, no, no.  I know your

 

           12              phone number.  Amil, I got rollover minutes.

 

           13              All right.  That's it.  Sherry, nothing

 

           14              doing over the Radison?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.  No.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA:  I hear he died, too.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know.  I will

 

           18              check on that.

 

           19                      MS. SUETTA: And I want to know, you

 

           20              work for the governor, do me a favor, tell

 

           21              him thank you.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: For?

 

           23                      MS. SUETTA:  Raising the price of

 

           24              cigarettes because after today I quit.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: You did?


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA:  I'm going to.  I bought

 

            2              my last pack of cigarettes.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Good for you.  I'm very

 

            4              proud of you.  Congratulations.

 

            5                      MS. SUETTA:  I won't have no

 

            6              friends.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: There is a rough

 

            8              spot -- there a rough spot there for awhile,

 

            9              but good luck.

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA:  But he raised the price

 

           11              and that's it.  I'm done.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Good luck.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thanks, Jean.  Doug

 

           14              Miller.

 

           15                      MR. MILLER: Good evening, Council.

 

           16              Doug Miller, Scranton.  It's truly nice to

 

           17              see the students here this evening to take

 

           18              part in our meeting.  I think it just goes

 

           19              back to show us what Junior Council did here

 

           20              for students and it's sparked an interest

 

           21              and I think you are going to see it continue

 

           22              because students have become interested and

 

           23              they want to take part in our government, so

 

           24              it's great to see you here.  We take a look

 

           25              at the agenda tonight 7-A and 7-B, and again


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              we have the Connell building.  We want to go

 

            2              and squander some more grant money away, and

 

            3              I have raised the issue several weeks ago

 

            4              that I was hopeful council would vote

 

            5              against this legislation, but it seems

 

            6              tonight we know it's going to pass.

 

            7                      And I believe the developer of this

 

            8              property has other properties in the area

 

            9              that are worth $1 million and could

 

           10              certainly cover the cost of this project.  I

 

           11              think it's truly time that this council

 

           12              becomes more responsibile with our grant

 

           13              money and put it to better use because I

 

           14              truly don't see what the taxpayers are

 

           15              getting out of this project.

 

           16                      Regarding ECTV we saw that today

 

           17              they lost their zoning agreement.  They were

 

           18              housed in the church basement in the Hill

 

           19              Section, and this is a station which council

 

           20              approved $90,000 for and now they are a

 

           21              station that's look for a home and has yet

 

           22              to live up to it's promises that were made

 

           23              in it's proposal.  I guess now we can find a

 

           24              piece of property that we own and just give

 

           25              it to them and let them build a home there


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              because we seem to be good at giving things

 

            2              away.  I do have to give you credit for

 

            3              that.

 

            4                      Several weeks ago I raised the issue

 

            5              of council finding grants to save some of

 

            6              these churches in the city, and I believe

 

            7              somebody on council -- I had left, but

 

            8              somebody responded by saying you don't have

 

            9              a say in that matter.  Well, that's where I

 

           10              disagree because as elected officials and

 

           11              people that do have power you do have the

 

           12              authority to send a letter to Martino

 

           13              objecting to his actions.

 

           14                      And the same is with the issue of

 

           15              the School of the Deaf I had.  There was a

 

           16              comment made well you have to take it up

 

           17              with higher powers, Senator Mellow, Murphy,

 

           18              and so on, but there is no reason that

 

           19              council can't send a letter to the governor

 

           20              objecting to the fact that he wants to pull

 

           21              funding to the school.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  We did, Douglas.

 

           23                      MR. MILLER: Okay.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  We did do that.  We

 

           25              made a motion.


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1                      MR. MILLER: Okay, I missed that.

 

            2                      THE COURT:  And for the medical

 

            3              school.

 

            4                      MR. MILLER:  Good.  I apologize.  I

 

            5              missed that.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  And I believe that all

 

            7              of us did attend the State School for the

 

            8              Deaf rally, all of council members were

 

            9              there.

 

           10                      MR. MILLER:  Yeah, I didn't mean to

 

           11              through any shots at you.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: No, I just wanted to

 

           13              clarify.

 

           14                      MR. MILLER: Okay.  That's good.  I'm

 

           15              glad to see that.  You know, in times like

 

           16              these council does have the power just

 

           17              shows, you know, all the times you got to

 

           18              put some effort and I'm pleased to see that

 

           19              took place.  Thank you.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Miller.

 

           21              I cannot read the next name.  Mr. Morgan?

 

           22              You are going to have to do some penmanship

 

           23              classes or something.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI:  Dr. Morgan.  You could

 

           25              be a doctor, Lee.


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN: Yeah, I don't think I

 

            2              would like to be a doctor though.  You know,

 

            3              I'd like to agree with a couple of the

 

            4              speakers who came up prior to myself.  Andy

 

            5              Sbaraglia, I agree with every statement he

 

            6              made from this podium.  Ozzie Quinn the same

 

            7              thing, and the same with Marie.  And to be

 

            8              honest with you, there is -- there is a lot

 

            9              of people who have come up here and if the

 

           10              people who watch this may think that these

 

           11              things are repetitive, and you know

 

           12              something, they most certainly are because

 

           13              none these problems have within solved, and

 

           14              we are still spending out of control in

 

           15              debt.

 

           16                      I also agree that we should table

 

           17              7-A to 7-C, but I think that what we really

 

           18              need to take a look at is the file of

 

           19              council that I have -- well, Neil was nice

 

           20              enough to pull it out and I had a chance to

 

           21              read it once again, File of Council 82-2007

 

           22              with all of the fees that we are putting on

 

           23              people that are delinquent.  When you listen

 

           24              to Bill Jackowitz who came up here and spoke

 

           25              about unemployment, you know, that's the


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              greatest thing about belonging to the tax

 

            2              group is that we are all a committed group

 

            3              of people who have a very great love for

 

            4              this city and the county, and it may sound

 

            5              like a crazy thing for somebody to say, but

 

            6              we are invested here, and I'd just like to

 

            7              speak for myself and say that we have no

 

            8              intentions of going away and we intend to

 

            9              learn as much as he we can and try to get

 

           10              this council and any government bodies that

 

           11              we can interact with to make changes for the

 

           12              benefits of the people which seems to be

 

           13              particularly very hard for this city to do,

 

           14              but I would like to see the city revisit

 

           15              this issue, and I would like to see the city

 

           16              do something with this legislation

 

           17              considering the kind of situation this

 

           18              country find itself in now with the economic

 

           19              catastrophe that we are facing, I mean with

 

           20              the banks and the stock market and

 

           21              everything else that's going on.

 

           22                      But the one thing that I have really

 

           23              noticed is that, and other speakers have

 

           24              spoken about this from the podium, and it's

 

           25              the amount of blight in this city.  It's not


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              just in South Side, it's through an awful

 

            2              large section of this city, and it's not

 

            3              that people don't want it repair their

 

            4              properties, but they have been so overtaxed

 

            5              for so long that they have nothing left.

 

            6                      I drive through the 17th corridor

 

            7              through New York almost every day and the

 

            8              people in New York are debating why their

 

            9              property taxes are so high and they can't

 

           10              maintain their property or even go out for a

 

           11              night of entertainment because all their

 

           12              disposal income is being eaten by taxation,

 

           13              and I just like to say that we see an awful

 

           14              lot of grants for special interest come

 

           15              through council, and there is something

 

           16              really wrong with that.

 

           17                      And now we talk about a library and

 

           18              going to pump $16 million allegedly over

 

           19              into South Side for this library, and my

 

           20              question is don't you think if we had a

 

           21              shovel ready project it would something to

 

           22              with infrastructures?  I mean, start small,

 

           23              curbs, sidewalks, something.  Generally a

 

           24              regenerative program to make some small

 

           25              loans to people to repair their properties?


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              I mean, that would benefit the community.  I

 

            2              mean, there is no doubt that quite possibly

 

            3              the library is overutilized, but at this

 

            4              time with the economic instability we find

 

            5              in this city for a multitude of reasons

 

            6              don't you think it's time to try to move

 

            7              some of this grant money into the

 

            8              neighborhoods?

 

            9                      I mean, we need neighborhood groups

 

           10              to become strong again and try to help the

 

           11              residents of their neighborhoods.  We have a

 

           12              lot of problems, I just hope that maybe we

 

           13              could do something.  Thank you.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Morgan.

 

           15              David Dobson.

 

           16                      MR. DOBSON: Good evening, Council.

 

           17              Dave Dobson, resident of Scranton,

 

           18              Taxpayers' Association associate.  I just

 

           19              came up, a few things tonight.  One thing I

 

           20              would like to say, I had an idea a couple of

 

           21              weeks ago on this Recovery Plan that nobody

 

           22              seemed to vote for but it just keeps hanging

 

           23              and around or whatever, it's time to maybe

 

           24              mend the fences and put this up for a

 

           25              reconsideration by the public, and from the


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              mayor's point of view that would get it off

 

            2              of his back.  He wouldn't have to stick to a

 

            3              plan that nobody seems to like, so it might

 

            4              be a little better in his cabinet in the

 

            5              fares place.

 

            6                      On the development, we have five

 

            7              taverns now on the block between Molly

 

            8              Branigan's and the Trax tavern.  We have

 

            9              Rocky's, we are going to have Kildaire's,

 

           10              how much drinking can we do?

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: That's the wrong

 

           12              weekend to ask that question.

 

           13                      MR. DOBSON: Yeah.  I'm not allowed

 

           14              to have any more, so --

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I know.

 

           16                      MR. DOBSON: -- that sucks.  And I

 

           17              read something in the paper today with

 

           18              Matthew Avenue up on the Hill Section up in

 

           19              that neighborhood that our power company is

 

           20              planning on spraying from herbicides, and I

 

           21              was wondering if they had any plans on

 

           22              coming through the section at Nay Aug Park

 

           23              where they just happen to locate their lines

 

           24              years ago because it was unused, but now

 

           25              that section of the park was open and we are


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              blessed with the wonderful power line

 

            2              through it, and then on top of it would they

 

            3              like to come in and poison all the trees

 

            4              that we have left, so I'd really appreciate

 

            5              if I hear something about that and get in

 

            6              touch with the mayor and whoever is

 

            7              involved.  I think the people up on Matthew

 

            8              Avenue are raising some issues with it and

 

            9              they may force them to bring in tree

 

           10              surgeons instead of spraying herbicide

 

           11              around, and if they do it up at Nay Aug

 

           12              Park, I mean, shame on them.

 

           13                      Also, on that particular section it

 

           14              would be nice some day if they took their

 

           15              power lines and located them across the

 

           16              road.  It could done.  There is no Erie

 

           17              railroad track on the other side and it's

 

           18              mostly brownfield and they could run the

 

           19              lines up over the hill before Nay Aug Park

 

           20              and maybe we have something that we could

 

           21              appreciate instead of constantly

 

           22              criticizing, but whatever was done to it the

 

           23              money was spent and we are certainly not --

 

           24              it certainly shouldn't be degraded by a

 

           25              power company coming through and doing


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              things to keep away.  Thank you and have a

 

            2              good night.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Dobson.

 

            4              Liz Hubbard.

 

            5                      MS. HUBBARD: Good evening, Council,

 

            6              Liz Hubbard, Scranton resident and taxpayer.

 

            7              Okay, a couple of things.  I understand

 

            8              according to the city website that the city

 

            9              inspector for lower Greenridge, Park Place

 

           10              and Pine Brook, is being moved to South Side

 

           11              to replace Todd Cortez who got another job.

 

           12              Judy, I understand your concern for your

 

           13              neighborhood, but you already have an

 

           14              inspector.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  That's not true.  What

 

           16              you are saying isn't true.

 

           17                      MS. HUBBARD: What's not true?

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: That they are not being

 

           19              moved.  Carol Gillette is our inspector in

 

           20              South Scranton.

 

           21                      MS. HUBBARD: And you only have one

 

           22              over there?

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  So far as I know.

 

           24                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, the way the

 

           25              website reads you are going to have two.


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Who is the other one?

 

            2                      MS. HUBBARD: I thought it was Patty

 

            3              Fowler or Patty Jones.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: She is here, are you

 

            5              coming to South Scranton?

 

            6                      MS. FOWLER: That's news no me.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI: Yeah, see.

 

            8                      MS. HUBBARD: Oh, well, then, I'm

 

            9              sorry.

 

           10                      MS. FOWLER:  That's how the website

 

           11              reads.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: Pardon?

 

           13                      MS. FOWLER: That is how the website

 

           14              reads.

 

           15                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, okay, fine then.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: I wish she were coming.

 

           17              She is a great inspector just by the way,

 

           18              she does a wonderful job.

 

           19                      MS. HUBBARD: Well, if she goes over

 

           20              there we don't have an inspector at all in

 

           21              our neighborhood.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: Well, right now there

 

           23              was only one on each side of the river, so

 

           24              you had an inspector.  You must have had

 

           25              Donny McKeon or Jack Liptai, one of those


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              two, and Todd did this whole side of the

 

            2              river before two new inspectors were put on.

 

            3                      MS. HUBBARD: Okay.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: There was only one for

 

            5              each side of the river.

 

            6                      MS. HUBBARD: We need way more.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes, I agree with you.

 

            8              We need ten more inspectors.

 

            9                      MS. HUBBARD: Yeah, we do.  Now, I'm

 

           10              onto skunks and other critters.  Judy, you

 

           11              stated --

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI:  Are they out yet?

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD: Oh, yeah.  You stated

 

           14              at a previous meeting that money was being

 

           15              budgeted for skunk removal; is that correct?

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.  That was my hope

 

           17              that the part-time animal office --

 

           18                      MS. HUBBARD: A part-time animal

 

           19              control officer was hired in addition to a

 

           20              full-time animal control, do you know if

 

           21              either one or both of them are authorized or

 

           22              sanctioned by the state to trap wild

 

           23              animals?

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: I will find out.

 

           25                      MS. HUBBARD:  Because a friend of


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              mine called about skunks under her front

 

            2              porch and they told her that they only do

 

            3              dogs and cats, and that she should call the

 

            4              game commission and the game commission gave

 

            5              her the same name.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  That same guy?

 

            7                      MS. HUBBARD: That they gave me when

 

            8              I had the skunk problem.  So, I mean, when

 

            9              are we going to contract this out to get rid

 

           10              of these skunks?  They are disgusting.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: My intent was for that

 

           12              to be -- to remove the skunks.

 

           13                      MS. HUBBARD:  Well, apparently then

 

           14              it's not.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I will try to

 

           16              straighten that out.

 

           17                      MS. HUBBARD:  I'd appreciate it.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you for bringing

 

           19              it to my attention.

 

           20                      MS. HUBBARD: We have all of this

 

           21              money for all these grants and loans and

 

           22              everything else that we should hire a couple

 

           23              of these state guys, whoever they are

 

           24              certified by the state, to clean this city

 

           25              out.  And another thing, I saw something on


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              television a few weeks ago about a town, I

 

            2              believe it was in Maryland, that had a

 

            3              really big skunk problem.  They also had lot

 

            4              of feral cats, and the people thinking they

 

            5              were doing a good thing were putting out cat

 

            6              food for all of these stray cats.  Well, the

 

            7              cat food was drawing the skunks, so I'd like

 

            8              to say to the people out there watching this

 

            9              please don't feed cats outside.  I know

 

           10              garbage is a problem, too, but they seem to

 

           11              like cat food, and it's like you are putting

 

           12              lunch out for them.  So, I mean,

 

           13              it's terrible.

 

           14                      You know, we shouldn't have to live

 

           15              like prisoners in our homes, so let's get on

 

           16              that do something about it.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI:  I will ask -- -

 

           18                      MS. HUBBARD: It's an election year

 

           19              so we might get some -- something done.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: Well, that was the

 

           21              intent was so that they would address the

 

           22              skunk issue.

 

           23                      MS. HUBBARD: What?

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: The extra inspector.

 

           25                      MS. HUBBARD: Oh, right.  Then they


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              should have known whoever hired --

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: Absolutely.

 

            3                      MS. HUBBARD: Because it's the animal

 

            4              control people themselves that are saying we

 

            5              can't do that, so then the game commission

 

            6              tell you to call a private person.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  All right.  Thanks for

 

            8              letting me know this, Mrs. Hubbard.

 

            9                      MS. HUBBARD: Sorry I was confused on

 

           10              the inspector.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Hubbard.

 

           12              The last name on the list is another one

 

           13              that I'm not sure is a Sayesha --

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Taisha.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Taisha.  I'm sorry.

 

           16                      MS. PHARR:  Hello.  This is from my

 

           17              heart what I am speaking here, but what I

 

           18              wanted to bring up here was more youth

 

           19              programs in Scranton.  I know there are the

 

           20              Progressive Center and the Bellevue Center

 

           21              that's down here, but not a lot of teenagers

 

           22              go there because they are not really active

 

           23              in the in zone, and I feel like if they were

 

           24              more youth programs like and where hands on

 

           25              and more things in the community more


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              teenagers will participate.  Now, teenagers

 

            2              -- I know they only have school activities

 

            3              such as sports and like clubs and anything

 

            4              like that, but not every teenager has a job

 

            5              and is not really interested in sports and I

 

            6              know they have drug and alcohol programs,

 

            7              and not every teenager is on drugs and

 

            8              alcohol, but for them to go to the youth

 

            9              program and have this program, like, it

 

           10              would be more hands on.  It would be more

 

           11              things to do and not a lot of their parents

 

           12              care.

 

           13                      So I said teenagers and not young

 

           14              adults because they are not a lot of adults

 

           15              out here.  To me, a young adult is a

 

           16              responsible young person and a lot of

 

           17              teenagers out here are not responsible

 

           18              because their are things that happen in

 

           19              front of the mall and anywhere else out here

 

           20              because of what they do out here.

 

           21                      And I think it would be a good thing

 

           22              if like they are in high school, it would be

 

           23              a good thing if they would like to look at

 

           24              college because whatever they are doing if

 

           25              there was different areas and things like


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              that they would look into college and want

 

            2              to do that for their future, so that was

 

            3              just basically what I wanted to bring.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  What was

 

            5              your last name, I'm sorry.

 

            6                      MS. PHARR: Pharr, P-H-A-R-R.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you.

 

            8                      MS. PHARR: You're welcome.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: Taisha was a West

 

           10              Scranton High School student, just for the

 

           11              record.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?

 

           13                      MS. ROYCE: Hi.  Good evening.

 

           14              Bernadette Royce, West Scranton.  You can

 

           15              love your city and still recognize the

 

           16              problem it faces.  Last week a woman berated

 

           17              many of us for questioning the mayor.  I do

 

           18              not agree with many of the mayor's policies

 

           19              and will speak out against them.  I will try

 

           20              to do it respectfully and I suggest that we

 

           21              all do the same.  However, I will not be

 

           22              silent on his policies that put the life and

 

           23              safety of my brothers at risk by closing

 

           24              fire stations and cutting firefighters.  As

 

           25              a career firefighter/paramedic, I suffered a


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              permanent injury which ended by firefighting

 

            2              career.  Because of my injury, I am even

 

            3              more passionate in my desire to prevent

 

            4              needless injuries in my brothers.  If this

 

            5              passion ever gets the better of me at this

 

            6              or any political forum, I will apologize in

 

            7              advance, but I will come in here as often as

 

            8              I can with the statistics and information

 

            9              from fire science experts to substantiate

 

           10              what I saw.  Why?  I am defending the health

 

           11              and safety of my brothers.  If this happens

 

           12              to offend the sense and sensibilities of

 

           13              some, so be it.

 

           14                      Currently, fire science experts with

 

           15              the National Institute of Standards and

 

           16              Technology, are conducting research

 

           17              concerning optimal staffing for fire

 

           18              apparatus.  This includes possible five man

 

           19              engines to reduce injuries and the effects

 

           20              of this increased manning on heart rate

 

           21              variability for firefighters.  It's

 

           22              difficult to know what this latest research

 

           23              in fire science will have on the effects of

 

           24              firefighters.  It's also difficult to know

 

           25              if the mayor and the public safety director


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              of Scranton has considered this in his plans

 

            2              since to the best of my knowledge they have

 

            3              never released these plans to the public.

 

            4              Thank you very much.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: I was walking up

 

            7              towards the hospital today up and down the

 

            8              hill, there are two houses right across the

 

            9              street from Moses Hospital, there is two

 

           10              damaged.  There is nobody living in them.

 

           11              The front door is open and there is nobody

 

           12              living in it, it's an abandoned house, two

 

           13              abandons.  One has stone in front of it,

 

           14              that's one of them, and the one on the top

 

           15              of the hill, a wood one is damaged.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Jim.

 

           17                      MS. STUCKER:  And mental health is

 

           18              going to give me another scooter.  Mental

 

           19              heath.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.

 

           21                      MR. STUCKER: They're giving me the

 

           22              money for it, $200.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Don't ride it on the

 

           24              street.

 

           25                      MR. STUCKER:  No. All right.  I got


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              a letter for you.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: A letter for me?

 

            3              You have to stand back here.  Okay, Jim,

 

            4              I'll call her.

 

            5                      MR. STUCKER: There's a lot of rats

 

            6              and snakes in there she said, there are

 

            7              skunks.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Rats and snakes and

 

            9              skunks.  Al right.  I'll call her.

 

           10                      MR. STUCKER:  And what about that

 

           11              house in Greenridge?

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Which one, Jim, on

 

           13              Greenridge Street?

 

           14                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know.  They

 

           16              boarded it up --

 

           17                      MR. STUCKER: I know they did.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: It's boarded up now

 

           19              and I have to see if it's on the list to be

 

           20              torn down.  It does need to be torn down.

 

           21                      MR. STUCKER: Yes.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  I

 

           23              was trying to get the address of that

 

           24              building.  There is address on it.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Is that the 1700


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              block?

 

            2                      MS. HUBBARD: 600 block.

 

            3                      MR. STUCKER:  Right across from

 

            4              McGinty's.

 

            5                      MR. HUBBARD: The corner of Dickson

 

            6              and Greenridge.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The city is aware of

 

            8              it.  I believe that's who boarded up was the

 

            9              city.  I guess it's got to wait it's turn to

 

           10              be torn down.  We'll get it down, Jim.

 

           11                      MR. STUCKER: Okay.  I live in a nice

 

           12              building.  I live in a high rise now.  I

 

           13              feel better.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Very good.

 

           15                      MR. STUCKER: And I seen you the

 

           16              other day with a white car.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The what?

 

           18                      MR. STUCKER:  I seen you last week

 

           19              with a white car.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Oh, yeah.  I beeped

 

           21              at you, didn't I?

 

           22                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.  I help Andy

 

           23              Shirley once in awhile.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Who is --

 

           25                      MR. STUCKER: Andy.


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, good.

 

            2                      MR. STUCKER: I help him once in

 

            3              awhile.  I was back in the hospital again.

 

            4              I pneumonia.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, you okay now?

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Good.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Jim.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER:  My buddy Pat told me

 

           10              to tells you hello.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Drive slow?

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: Pat, my buddy from

 

           13              Parrot Avenue, told me to tell you all

 

           14              hello.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, hello.  Okay.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thanks, Jim.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Tell him we said

 

           18              hello.

 

           19                      MR. UNGVARSKY: Good evening, city

 

           20              council.  I'm Tom Ungvarsky, and I'm a

 

           21              member of the Scranton Lackawanna County

 

           22              Taxpayers'.  I have a great difficulty

 

           23              trying to figure out who this council

 

           24              represents.  For over a year now I have

 

           25              heard excuses as to why NCC can impose fines


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              and penalties on people who are having

 

            2              difficulty paying their property tax.  Two

 

            3              weeks ago Kevin Mitchell appeared here and

 

            4              asked for your support, nothing more, just

 

            5              your support in limiting how much taxes can

 

            6              be imposed on the people of Scranton and

 

            7              Lackawanna County.  It seems as though this

 

            8              council seems to represent KOZ's, wealthy

 

            9              developers such as the 500 block of

 

           10              Lackawanna Avenue, the Connell building and

 

           11              all of the other grants.  I think it's time

 

           12              city council started supporting the people

 

           13              who elected them, the taxpayers of the city

 

           14              of Scranton.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           16              Ungvarsky.

 

           17                      MR. MCCLOE: Good evening.  May name

 

           18              is Brett McCloe, homeowner, taxpayer.  I'd

 

           19              like what was said before with one of our

 

           20              citizens last week came up and here and

 

           21              complained and was angry about people who

 

           22              come up here and complain, and I think it's

 

           23              great that citizens voice their opinion

 

           24              about how Scranton is made such progress,

 

           25              but it's great also that people live a


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              life-style that they don't have to worry

 

            2              about the long-term debt of the city, and I

 

            3              guess she must have all of the numbers that

 

            4              prove that our city is, in fact, moving

 

            5              forward.

 

            6                      I'm not trying to be sarcastic or to

 

            7              speak for anyone else, and I'm not ashamed

 

            8              to say and very proud to say that I do have

 

            9              an agenda.  My livelihood depends on the

 

           10              development of downtown Scranton.  I'm a

 

           11              waiter and my business is hospitality.  I

 

           12              depend on the people's ability to spend

 

           13              hour-to-hour, table-to-table, tip-to-tip.  I

 

           14              see firsthand affects of this economy.

 

           15                      I have great hope that things will

 

           16              turn around in the downtown area, but very

 

           17              little faith in the process that it will

 

           18              take to be truly progressive and

 

           19              self-sustaining sustains given the realities

 

           20              of today's economy.  Like optimists say, the

 

           21              glass is half full, pessimists say the glass

 

           22              is half-empty, I say that depend on what's

 

           23              in it, but I just wanted to pretty much keep

 

           24              it short today.

 

           25                      I really didn't have much to say,


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              but I would like to ask any of you as to if

 

            2              any of the economic stimulus package that

 

            3              Scranton is getting, are there any

 

            4              provisions to stop the exodus of businesses

 

            5              downtown?  What I'm talking about is the

 

            6              businesses who rent, who pay rent or lease

 

            7              to a building owner.  I'm not talking about

 

            8              giving anything to the business itself, but

 

            9              to the building owner so he can lower the

 

           10              rent or leases?  I mean, because people are

 

           11              coming in here and getting their KOZ's and

 

           12              getting a sweet deal, but what about the

 

           13              previous existing businesses that have to

 

           14              get up and go because they cannot?

 

           15              Businesses is slow, that's the way it is,

 

           16              but I'm not going to have anybody shrug my

 

           17              shoulders for me and give up, we have to try

 

           18              another remedy.  Is there anything in the

 

           19              economic stimulus package that Scranton

 

           20              receives that can lower rents for businesses

 

           21              downtown so they don't have to leave?

 

           22                      Like I said, everybody is getting

 

           23              KOZ except for the people who have been

 

           24              here, and I'm not talking about giving

 

           25              anybody a break, but guess what, we can't


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              show off our city if we put up another paper

 

            2              over windows.  We cannot show up off our

 

            3              city.  One of my jobs I have -- I was -- I

 

            4              drove people back and forth from the airport

 

            5              to Scranton, and I have met hundreds and

 

            6              hundreds of people that way, newcomers to

 

            7              Scranton, and a lot of times they say,

 

            8              "Well, it looks like you guys are doing so

 

            9              well downtown?  It looks like you are doing

 

           10              so well."

 

           11                      And the next thing they do, "Well,

 

           12              why are the buildings empty?"

 

           13                      I said, "Well, we are under

 

           14              construction," and I said, "It will another

 

           15              six, seven, maybe ten years before you see

 

           16              this place jump."

 

           17                      I do have faith.  I mean, I do have

 

           18              hope that this will come around, but unless

 

           19              there is a remedy to stop the bleeding now

 

           20              future investors are just going to come in

 

           21              here and say, you know, it was a great

 

           22              opportunity but it looks like nobody is

 

           23              spending any money.

 

           24                      So, I was wondering if any at point

 

           25              in time if anyone could give me an answer if


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              anything in the economic stimulus package

 

            2              could help previous existing businesses not

 

            3              KOZ's to -- well, building owners, so

 

            4              building owners can lower the rents and

 

            5              leases so some of these businesses can stay

 

            6              in the town.  All right.  Thank you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Thank you, Mr. McCloe.

 

            8              Anyone else?

 

            9                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

 

           10              My name is Nancy Krake.  I'm going to read

 

           11              from an article that appeared in the Times

 

           12              in June of 2007, this is the tax penalty law

 

           13              passed by council as written by Stacy Brown

 

           14              stating that city council approved the

 

           15              legislation that I have been asking you to

 

           16              amend, just about every meeting that I am

 

           17              here.

 

           18                      It outlines what those things are:

 

           19              $25 per lien; 160 for file opening and

 

           20              review by a collector; 35 for preparation

 

           21              and mailing; 175 each for preparing and

 

           22              filing a lien; $800 for the preparation and

 

           23              filing of sheriff's sale notices; $400 if

 

           24              the collector or city uses a lawyer or

 

           25              sheriff.


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1                      Quoting the mayor he says, "Tax

 

            2              collection has been a problem in the city

 

            3              and needs to be firmly addressed."

 

            4                      The only delinquent taxes this mayor

 

            5              is interested in are the delinquent tax

 

            6              houses, not your wage.  In fact, he wasn't

 

            7              the least bit concerned nor did he notice we

 

            8              were shy at least $6 million in current wage

 

            9              and I would venture to say at least another

 

           10              six in delinquent, adamant though about our

 

           11              house tax.

 

           12                      I also would like to read from an

 

           13              actual bill:  "Review and confirmation of

 

           14              lien, $75," this is, by the way, from Edwin

 

           15              N. Abrahamsen and Associates.  That's the

 

           16              law firm that these people are forced to

 

           17              pay.  He is also the owner of Northeast

 

           18              Credit and Collection.

 

           19                      "Open file and issue legal demand

 

           20              letter, $480.  Prepare and filing of lien,

 

           21              $525.  $7.00 for certified mail.  The base

 

           22              tax was $309.  Contrast that to the legal

 

           23              fees of $1,087.  This is fact.

 

           24                      I do not know what the

 

           25              administration is telling council people,


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              but it is not true.  I heard a taxpayer say

 

            2              today they were very concerned and they were

 

            3              trying to pay up to NCC and that they were

 

            4              doing their best, they had medical problems

 

            5              and so forth, only they were horrified to

 

            6              find out that after they had paid the tax

 

            7              they still owed several thousand in legal

 

            8              fees.  NCC had recommended that they pay the

 

            9              tax first so they wouldn't lose their home.

 

           10              No, that has not been done yet, but you have

 

           11              passed a law that allows them to do that.

 

           12                      I have also got to let you know if

 

           13              they are taking away penalties and interest

 

           14              I don't know what they are taking away.  I

 

           15              know the treasurer can lower the penalty

 

           16              that comes to the city, but all of the other

 

           17              amounts that go to NCC is anyone taking

 

           18              these one?  Is it legal for them to take

 

           19              them on?  Because of your resolution can now

 

           20              Abrahamsen come back and collect these

 

           21              monies from the city if this city abates

 

           22              them to taxpayers?  Does anybody even

 

           23              consider that before they voted for this?  I

 

           24              know Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright did not

 

           25              and they have been trying to get it amended,


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              but the other three council persons the

 

            2              longer we do this the more these questions

 

            3              are going to arise and the more hurt you are

 

            4              putting upon people.  And these monies, no

 

            5              matter how you look at it, are not coming

 

            6              into the city.  They are going to a law

 

            7              firm.  The same law firm whose name is on

 

            8              here that owns Northeast Credit and

 

            9              Collection.  It simply is not right.  It may

 

           10              not be exactly legal, but that hasn't been

 

           11              tested yet and I have a great faith in many

 

           12              our citizens who have been taking lawsuit to

 

           13              Commonwealth Court, maybe this will be the

 

           14              next one.

 

           15                      I'd also like to say that I asked

 

           16              several weeks in a row for what the break

 

           17              down was for the -- Mrs. Fanucci is telling

 

           18              me she has been asking, and I'm not -- I'm

 

           19              glad you are doing that, I'd like to say

 

           20              that everything else you have asked for you

 

           21              have gotten immediately, so this leads me to

 

           22              believe that the city does not want to tell

 

           23              you why they put that number in the budget.

 

           24              I'm sorry to say, I believe it's false or it

 

           25              was based on false amounts, so I'm going to


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              do a Right-to-Know on that.

 

            2                      Also, I was curious a couple of

 

            3              weeks in a row to find out what our current

 

            4              contract is with NCC and when that was voted

 

            5              on.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  It wasn't.

 

            7                      MS. KRAKE: So we have -- either I'm

 

            8              assuming we don't have a contract with NCC

 

            9              and it was not voted on.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Nancy, I think what

 

           11              happens is if we -- if we didn't act on

 

           12              their contract within a certain period of

 

           13              time it automatically continues; am I

 

           14              correct on that, Kay, or you don't know?

 

           15                      MS. KRAKE:  So therefore --

 

           16                      MS. GARVEY: I believe that's what it

 

           17              says in there.

 

           18                      MS. KRAKE: The mayor did not bring

 

           19              that legislation to council.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Correct.

 

           21                      MS. KRAKE: So this firmly, once

 

           22              again, Mayor Doherty these people give much

 

           23              money to his campaign so he conveniently

 

           24              forgot to give you that legislation to vote

 

           25              on and, therefore, they just waltzed right


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              in.  Thank you.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Krake.

 

            3                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening.  Nelson

 

            4              Ancherani.  First Amendment Rights.  This

 

            5              past Thursday at the Taxpayers' Association

 

            6              meeting Ozzie Quinn read a letter from Fred

 

            7              Ruddy of the infamous Pennsylvania Economy

 

            8              League.  In the letter, Ruddy stated the

 

            9              police and fire take up 49 percent of the

 

           10              city budget.  If Ruddy can say that, we

 

           11              would have to assume that he read the budget

 

           12              to get the figures.  Yeah, right.  The only

 

           13              thing PEL is good for is to keep this city

 

           14              distressed so they can keep their paychecks

 

           15              coming in, and now more importantly in these

 

           16              tough economic times.  Without the city

 

           17              continuing in distressed status they are out

 

           18              of jobs.

 

           19                      I checked the pie chart for

 

           20              expenditures for 2009, in doing the math for

 

           21              the police and fire 49 percent of the budget

 

           22              like Ruddy says is $38,500,000.  According

 

           23              to the police and fire budgets on page 56

 

           24              and 59 respectively, the percentage from the

 

           25              police and fire is 35 percent or


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              $27,195,000, a difference of $11,310,000.

 

            2                      Just for your information, in case

 

            3              some of you did not read the budget before

 

            4              you voted on it, the pie chart is done

 

            5              differently this year from previous years.

 

            6              One of the differences it no longer says:

 

            7              "Excluding tax anticipation notes."

 

            8                      The big difference is that the

 

            9              expenditure pie chart is broken down into

 

           10              departments, and includes all city

 

           11              individual departments as slices, 12 slices

 

           12              in all.  No more trying to figure out how

 

           13              much the total department cost by figuring

 

           14              wages, pensions, compensation, etcetera.

 

           15              The total of each department is on the

 

           16              particular page for that department, but

 

           17              then you all would know that because you all

 

           18              read it.

 

           19                      One item not included in the pie

 

           20              slices and is noticeably missing is

 

           21              nondepartmental expenditures.  I wondered

 

           22              why they are not included in the pie chart,

 

           23              especially since for this year non

 

           24              departmental expenditures are 24 million,

 

           25              close to 1/3 of the budget.  I say they are


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              not included in the pie chart because if you

 

            2              look at them they don't fall into any of the

 

            3              individual departments.  Examples of what

 

            4              doesn't fall into any department are zoning

 

            5              board, Everhart Museum, Genisis Wildlife

 

            6              Refuge to name a few.

 

            7                      How about this one, can anyone tell

 

            8              me about the operating --  TSF to debt

 

            9              service sale leaseback of the DPW?  In 2005,

 

           10              the pay back was $150,000.  In 2006, it was

 

           11              430,000.  In 2007, they were two leaseback

 

           12              payments totaling 835,000.  In 2008, there

 

           13              were two leaseback payments totaling

 

           14              6,358,000.  This year the budgeted amount is

 

           15              480,000 for a grand total of 8,253,000.  The

 

           16              cost of the DPW building was 3,500,000.  We

 

           17              must remember that Scranton Authority is now

 

           18              leasing the DPW back to us to us the city.

 

           19              This was in exchange for the Scranton Sewer

 

           20              Authority bailing out the city with the $5.5

 

           21              million loan because the city violated their

 

           22              contract with the American Anglican.  The

 

           23              city lost the ensuing arbitration and had to

 

           24              pay 5.5 million to American Anglican.

 

           25                      Think about this then, for the loan


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              of 5.5 million the 8,253,000 payback

 

            2              includes 2,758,00 more than the 5.5 million.

 

            3              2,758,000 is a nice interest payment.  So

 

            4              taxpayers, since 2005 we, the taxpayers, are

 

            5              paying 2,758,000 plus, plus the taxpayers

 

            6              are getting hit with a 56 million -- I'm

 

            7              sorry, 56 percent rate hike that the sewer

 

            8              authority imposed on us for the loan of the

 

            9              5.5 million.  The taxpayers are getting hit

 

           10              twice, actually three times.

 

           11                      Losing the paid for DPW, the

 

           12              56 percent rate hike, plus 2,758,000

 

           13              interest all to the Scranton Sewer Authority

 

           14              for the DPW.  Thank you.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           16              Ancherani.  Come on, Chris.

 

           17                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: I'm coming.  Up a

 

           18              little, Bill?

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, Chris, pick it

 

           20              up.  Go ahead.

 

           21                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Billy, this year

 

           22              there is a girl's softball team, my

 

           23              brother-in-law is coaching the softball

 

           24              league this year.  Good luck to the softball

 

           25              league this year.  Good luck.


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, Chris.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Mrs.

 

            3              Gatelli?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: The first thing I

 

            5              forgot to congratulate the students and the

 

            6              teachers at Scranton High School who did a

 

            7              wonderful job this past weekend on the show

 

            8              that they presented called "Honk."

 

            9                      Kay, if we could send a letter about

 

           10              that skunk inspector, you know, if indeed

 

           11              the part-time one or the full-time one were

 

           12              hired or certified to the mayor.  Also,

 

           13              to --

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: I'm sorry.  I thought

 

           16              there wasn't anyone else.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: I did, too.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: I apologize.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  We did not know you

 

           20              were going to speak and we had started

 

           21              through the council motions.

 

           22                      MS. HUMPHRIES: I have --

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Briefly?

 

           24                      MS. HUMPHRIES: Briefly.  Okay, in

 

           25              1994 in honor of Cardinal O'Connor and St.


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              Patrick's Church may he be canonized and

 

            2              sainted, I went there on a mission and I

 

            3              bring this forward just to pass around, and

 

            4              this is the Hibernians.  I received a new

 

            5              coin, I'm in the Hibernians and the coin has

 

            6              been held by Bishop Timlin.  People don't

 

            7              know everything, but the World Trade Center

 

            8              is in here.  On that day I went there for

 

            9              the intercession for the protection of our

 

           10              country.

 

           11                      I have what they call posttraumatic

 

           12              stress, people don't understand what it is,

 

           13              but when a trauma happens whether it's

 

           14              mental, physical, psychological, sexual

 

           15              abuse or trauma or trauma through any form,

 

           16              even the military just spoke on it, the

 

           17              thing is you are treated, you get flashbacks

 

           18              like if you are in the service and truly you

 

           19              never want to forget what actually happened.

 

           20              This man had lost his -- this military man

 

           21              who is on the news he lost 69 in his

 

           22              platoon.

 

           23                      So, I am treated by a wonderful

 

           24              doctor, Dr. Biancarelli for mental,

 

           25              physical, psychological, sex abuse she deals


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              in, and I am survivor of multiple attacks

 

            2              since I have been a young girl until now

 

            3              which many people are now in high places and

 

            4              they will be exposed.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.  Phyllis.

 

            6              Phyllis.

 

            7                      MS. HUMPHRIES: What I want to say,

 

            8              Abraham Lincoln --

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: It's inappropriate.

 

           10                      MS. HUMPHRIES: It's appropriate when

 

           11              it's about crime, crime is the center of

 

           12              evilness and immorality and or fire

 

           13              department and our police department and our

 

           14              judges they are put in place to protect us.

 

           15              In a way they say separation of state and

 

           16              church, but the truth is that the

 

           17              commandments abide also with the police

 

           18              department and help grab these people and

 

           19              put them in their proper place, get them

 

           20              where they need to go for their mental,

 

           21              whatever they have to do, and try to forgive

 

           22              them, reconciliate them and do the best that

 

           23              they could.

 

           24                      President Lincoln had told about the

 

           25              immoral's, I want to read this:  Today the


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              United States of America is faced with the

 

            2              most serious national crises in it's history

 

            3              coming as Abraham Lincoln predicted for

 

            4              within our country itself.  Throughout our

 

            5              land there is increased lack and disregard

 

            6              and practice and a mockery for fundamental l

 

            7              moral principals enshrined in our country's

 

            8              founding documents.

 

            9                      The Declaration of Independence, the

 

           10              Constitution and Bill of Rights while a

 

           11              direct attack from communism, the crisis in

 

           12              it is in the line with the errors of Russian

 

           13              spread all over the world during the 70

 

           14              years of pompous control.  There is most

 

           15              evidence in the spirit of secular humanism,

 

           16              aggressive and actively promoted in our

 

           17              country, schools and universities and

 

           18              throughout the news media for many years,

 

           19              and now almost parody the very air that we

 

           20              breathe.

 

           21                      As with Portugal, the solution to

 

           22              our national crises can be found in the

 

           23              message of Fatima.  Central to the message

 

           24              of Fatima is our Lord's desire to have

 

           25              immaculate heart with the blessed mother on


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              them, alongside sacred heart according to

 

            2              Sister Lucia.

 

            3                      On December 10, 1925, what is now

 

            4              the Blue Arm Shrine of Ponte Verdi, Our Lady

 

            5              of Child from Sister Lucia, she has asked

 

            6              for prayer, the rosary, reading the bible,

 

            7              eucharistic prayer.  Without justice there

 

            8              is no peace.  We got to fight for peace and

 

            9              we got to fight for love and we got to fight

 

           10              for reconciliation, the end of abortion,

 

           11              euthanasia, capital punishment.

 

           12                      Lincoln had children, they died, but

 

           13              he supported life, our forefathers supported

 

           14              life, and the constitution of the United

 

           15              States has been desecrated, has been put for

 

           16              political arenas, we got to take the right

 

           17              constitution of the United States back.

 

           18              When we put our hand on the Bible we are in

 

           19              the realm of the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit

 

           20              --

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis --

 

           22                      MS. HUMPHRIES:  And we're going to

 

           23              support life, inside and outside of the

 

           24              world.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1                      MS. HUMPHRIES: Pray for peace, pray

 

            2              for reconciliation and pray to get the

 

            3              proper people, and Hillary Clinton is Pro

 

            4              Choice --

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis.

 

            6                      MS. HUMPHRIES: I'm praying for her

 

            7              for her reconciliation.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis.

 

            9                      MS. HUMPHRIES: I have no fear of no

 

           10              one.  I'm not of this world.  I'm of heaven.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis.  Thank you.

 

           12                      MS. HUMPHRIES: God Bless and Happy

 

           13              St. Patrick's Day.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.

 

           15                      MS. HUMPHRIES: Oh, and these pills

 

           16              were given and there is orange things that

 

           17              there is poison in --

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis --

 

           19                      MS. HUMPHRIES: And they gave me the

 

           20              wrong medicine that I could have died.  I

 

           21              ask the elderly to check for medicine when

 

           22              it's coming in from the drug stores.  I want

 

           23              to protect the people and the elderly.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Mrs.

 

           25              Gatelli, I'm sorry.


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  I'm going to be

 

            2              sending a letter to the mayor to find out

 

            3              about the animal control officer as was

 

            4              stated here this evening whether they are

 

            5              certified or not.  It was my intent when I

 

            6              put them in the budget for them to address

 

            7              the skunk issue, and I'm sure that was

 

            8              mentioned at the time.

 

            9                      Also, a letter to Mark Seitzinger

 

           10              requesting demolition for the corner of

 

           11              Greenridge and Dickson, 1111 Blair Avenue,

 

           12              and 1107 Meade Avenue.  These properties

 

           13              have been condemned for over five years and

 

           14              are certainly ready for demolition.

 

           15                      Also, I was speaking of some of the

 

           16              things that Phyllis mentioned, I received a

 

           17              e-mail from a constituent today who sent me

 

           18              Senate Bill 404, it was introduced on

 

           19              March 5th of 2009, and it is a bill for

 

           20              procedures regarding the request for the

 

           21              dispensation of lethal medication to

 

           22              patients seeking to die in a dignified

 

           23              manner, so Pennsylvania has before it's

 

           24              Senate a bill for euthanasia, and I am going

 

           25              to make a motion this evening that we send a


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              letter to them opposing that bill.

 

            2                      MS. HUMPHRIES: God bless you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            4                      MS. HUBBARD: Everyone should have

 

            5              the right to decide when they die.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Is anybody going to

 

            8              second my motion?  No?

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll second it.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Mrs. Gatelli --

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Unfortunately I was

 

           13              talking to Mr. McGoff and I don't know what

 

           14              you said, could you repeat it?

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  A bill was introduced

 

           16              in the Senate of Pennsylvania to allow

 

           17              patients to take medication to die, you

 

           18              know, like Kevorkian did years ago.  In the

 

           19              State of Pennsylvania euthanasia would be

 

           20              allowed and I am saying that I'd like to

 

           21              send -- make a motion that we oppose that

 

           22              Bill.  You know, like sometimes we send

 

           23              letters to support them and I'm saying that

 

           24              I don't think that this should be a part of

 

           25              what we are doing in the United States


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              people killing themselves when they have a

 

            2              terminal illness.  I just don't agree with

 

            3              it as a nurse and as a human being I just

 

            4              don't think it's right.

 

            5                      It's only legal in two states,

 

            6              Oregon and another one, and I think once we

 

            7              start doing these type of things we are on

 

            8              the road to who is going to decide if we are

 

            9              terminally ill.  It's just very bad, and I'm

 

           10              going to -- if you don't agree I'm going to

 

           11              send my own letter as a council

 

           12              vice-president that I oppose it and as a

 

           13              citizen I oppose it and as a human being and

 

           14              as a nurse I oppose euthanasia.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: I agree with what you

 

           16              have just said.  I seconded it, I'm sorry,

 

           17              your motion simply so that we could talk

 

           18              about it.  I think it might be more

 

           19              appropriate that we send it as individuals

 

           20              rather than as council.  When we send a

 

           21              letter as council I believe we are speaking

 

           22              on behalf of the public, and I don't know

 

           23              that in this case we have the I don't want

 

           24              to say the authority or you know the right

 

           25              to, but it may be more appropriate that -- I


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              would be more than happy to affix my

 

            2              signature to, you know, a personal letter on

 

            3              behalf me as an individual.  I don't know

 

            4              how anyone else feels about that?

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree with you,

 

            6              Mr. McGoff.  I think if we were to do it, it

 

            7              would be more appropriate to do it as

 

            8              individuals.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  I agree.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Well, I'm going to be

 

           11              sending it as an individual and as

 

           12              vice-president of Scranton City Council.  It

 

           13              is before the government, so obviously it's

 

           14              a government issue, and that's how I feel.

 

           15              So I will be sending it and under my name as

 

           16              vice-president of city council and as a

 

           17              private citizen.

 

           18                      MS. HUMPHRIES: And I will sign it.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Phyllis, please.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: I have been getting

 

           21              some complaints about the people that live

 

           22              in the Tripp Park section where the KOZ

 

           23              homes are, and apparently Judge Minora

 

           24              issued in December an order that the

 

           25              retention pond be corrected by the


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              developer, Mr. Speicher, and in his order he

 

            2              also stated that the City of Scranton is

 

            3              enjoined from issuing any subdivision and/or

 

            4              lot development permits of any nature for

 

            5              the continued development of the Village at

 

            6              Tripp Park, and the people that I have

 

            7              spoken to are not going to be doing any land

 

            8              movement such as driveways or things of that

 

            9              nature that would effect runoff.  They are

 

           10              putting back porches on and one is putting

 

           11              an above-ground swimming pool and things of

 

           12              that nature.

 

           13                      I am not sure where the issue stands

 

           14              because Mr. Speicher, from what I understand

 

           15              has fled the area or fled the project, so I

 

           16              don't know that he is going to be completing

 

           17              what he is supposed to complete, and there

 

           18              are people that want to do some improvements

 

           19              to their property that will not effect water

 

           20              runoff, so I am going to ask my council

 

           21              members if we can send a letter to Judge

 

           22              Minora asking him to revisit his order and

 

           23              to see if he can't make some exceptions for

 

           24              certain repairs to homes that will not

 

           25              effect water runoff because I'm getting a


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              tremendous amount of phone calls that

 

            2              permits are being denied in their particular

 

            3              area.

 

            4                      I don't know when this issue will be

 

            5              resolved, and I think the people up there

 

            6              have suffered long enough with that

 

            7              developer with the things they had to

 

            8              tolerate with no snow removal and things of

 

            9              that nature and now they are being punished

 

           10              from making improvements to their property

 

           11              and I don't think that that's fair, so I'm

 

           12              going to ask my colleagues if they will

 

           13              agree to send a letter to Judge Minora to

 

           14              reconsider this and maybe just issue certain

 

           15              permits that wouldn't effect storm water.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Any opposition?

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Please do so.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Thank you.  Also, if we

 

           20              can write a letter to PPL and ask them where

 

           21              else they intend to spray in the City of

 

           22              Scranton other than Matthew Avenue.  I agree

 

           23              with Mr. Dobson and the people on Matthew

 

           24              Avenue that that certainly is not the way to

 

           25              go especially if they are asking people to


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              sign waivers, the herbicides must be toxic

 

            2              of some nature if they are asking for

 

            3              releases from the people, so see if we can't

 

            4              some information from PPL just as to exactly

 

            5              where they are going to spray and what type

 

            6              of herbicide they are using.  And that's all

 

            7              I have.  Thank you very much.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            9              Mrs. Fanucci.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: I only have two things,

 

           11              Mr. Dobson had brought up about the Recovery

 

           12              Plan and bringing it back on the bat ballot.

 

           13              I'm not sure that can be done.  I believe

 

           14              that now the state is in charge and that's

 

           15              the problem, and I will look into see if

 

           16              that is an option.  I don't believe I don't

 

           17              believe so, but I could be wrong.  It

 

           18              certainly would be, you know, a good option

 

           19              if it could be, you know, approved by the

 

           20              state to let us do that again, so I

 

           21              definitely will check into that.

 

           22                      Also, on the Connell building, I

 

           23              understand that people feel that we are

 

           24              using these grants and this money in places,

 

           25              but they don't realize that if we don't use


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              them somebody else is getting them and

 

            2              that's the problem, that's the problem I

 

            3              have.  I know it's hard to understand, but

 

            4              if we don't use that money or make use of

 

            5              these projects they go somewhere else, so it

 

            6              will be Reading and you still will be paying

 

            7              for it, but it will be in Reading and it

 

            8              will be in other areas and other cities and

 

            9              other parts of the state, so you still will

 

           10              be paying that money for these projects.

 

           11                      So when you are saying, "What am I

 

           12              getting out of it," you are getting the fact

 

           13              that at least it is in your own city and

 

           14              that maybe when that happens that will be

 

           15              job creation and there will be benefits for

 

           16              you.  You will not get anything out of it if

 

           17              it goes somewhere else, so that is why I

 

           18              will always vote to make sure that we get as

 

           19              many grants as we can get and as much as any

 

           20              part of economic development we can get our

 

           21              hands on I will be part of it and certainly

 

           22              will want to happen for our city.

 

           23                      I understand that it's a lot of

 

           24              money, and it is a lot of money when you

 

           25              look at this building, in fact, I was there


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              today.  When you see that building it is an

 

            2              absolutely beautiful building and it could

 

            3              be a beautiful building again.  It is going

 

            4              to take a lot of money, and it's

 

            5              unfortunate, but it is not as unfortunate as

 

            6              a building sitting there like it is now.

 

            7              That is a waste and in ten more years it

 

            8              will take six times the amount of money as

 

            9              it's taking now to redo the building.

 

           10                      So, you know, I would rather the

 

           11              money here and I will take the money as much

 

           12              as we can get it because if we don't someone

 

           13              else will.  And that is all I have.

 

           14                      Oh, no, one more thing, I'm sorry,

 

           15              on Danielle and Company, it is a small

 

           16              business she has in town and she is

 

           17              expanding.  She does soaps and things of

 

           18              that nature, lotions and creams and all her

 

           19              own products.  She is selling them currently

 

           20              I believe it's like over 100 stores right

 

           21              now.  She is currently trying to expand her

 

           22              business and she is looking to bring on

 

           23              eventually salespeople, consultants, more

 

           24              business people and try to expand it to even

 

           25              I think sell to hotels and things of that


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              nature, so that is it a very nice project

 

            2              and it's going to see her growing because

 

            3              she hasn't really been out there that long

 

            4              and it seems to be taking off and that to me

 

            5              is a good thing.  So that is all I have.

 

            6              Thank you.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'd just like to

 

            9              congratulate the law enforcement officers

 

           10              that captured this 16-year-old that appears

 

           11              to be the one that was reeking havoc

 

           12              throughout this city and possibly the one

 

           13              that raped an individual in West Scranton.

 

           14              I know this individual had a lot of people

 

           15              concerned and upset, so I don't know all of

 

           16              the officers involved so I don't want to

 

           17              mention any names, I might miss somebody.

 

           18                      And just one other thing, I had an

 

           19              opportunity for the first time ever to be in

 

           20              the Southern Union building, I had to go

 

           21              down there this week for something, and I

 

           22              had never been in there before, it's an

 

           23              unbelievably beautiful building inside and

 

           24              everything in there appears to be state of

 

           25              the art, but the interesting think I found


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              out when I was in there is Merrill Lynch is

 

            2              occupying the one floor, and I am being told

 

            3              that they are not taking advantage of the

 

            4              KOZ.  They do not take advantage of the fact

 

            5              that they are in a KOZ which to me, I was

 

            6              very surprised at that, so I know a lot of

 

            7              times when we hear people not for the

 

            8              Southern Union building what I would like to

 

            9              say, you know, Mr. Donahue that bought, he

 

           10              did not but that from the city, we didn't

 

           11              sell it to him, Southern Union sold it to

 

           12              him, if he got a good deal more power to

 

           13              him, but I just wanted to make that known

 

           14              and I was told that Merrill Lynch did not

 

           15              take advantage of the KOZ down there, and

 

           16              that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr.

 

           18              Courtright.  Fifth order, Mrs. Garvey.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY: FOR INTRODUCTION - A

 

           20              RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

           21              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF

 

           22              SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN AGREEMENT AND

 

           23              MAKE A LOAN FROM THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL

 

           24              REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 150.21

 

           25              IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $25,000.00 TO


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              DANIELLE AND COMPANY, INC. TO ASSIST AN

 

            2              ELIGIBLE PROJECT.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            4              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

            5              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            9              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           14              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO

 

           16              BUSINESS AT THIS TIME.  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A.

 

           17              FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON

 

           18              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT  FOR ADOPTION -

 

           19              RESOLUTION NO. 109, 2009 -

 

           20              AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 55, 2008 ENTITLED "

 

           21              A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

           22              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY FOR AND

 

           23              EXECUTE A GRANT FOR HOUSING AND

 

           24              REDEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE (HRA) IN THE AMOUNT

 

           25              OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS $500,000.00


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              THROUGH THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

            2              DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC

 

            3              DEVELOPMENT (DCED); AND IF THE APPLICATION

 

            4              IS SUCCESSFUL TO COORDINATE THE USE OF THE

 

            5              GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PROJECT TO BE NAMED AS

 

            6              THE "CONNELL BUILDING" WITH

 

            7              "JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC", THE DEVELOPER, OR

 

            8              ITS DESIGNEE TO REFLECT THE CHANGE OF THE

 

            9              DEVELOPER AND RECIPIENT OF THE GRANT FROM

 

           10              JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC TO SCRANTON-CONNELL,

 

           11              LP.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the

 

           13              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

           14              Committee on Community Development?

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the

 

           16              Committee on Community Development, I

 

           17              recommend final passage of Item 7-A.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           20              call, please?

 

           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.  Mrs.

 

           22              Gatelli.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            5              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            6                      MS. GARVEY: FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE

 

            7              COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - FOR

 

            8              ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 110, 2009 -

 

            9              AMENDING RESOLUTION NO.56, 2008 ENTITLED "A

 

           10              RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

           11              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO APPLY FOR AND

 

           12              EXECUTE A GRANT APPLICATION FOR MIXED USE

 

           13              FACILITY FINANCING INITIATIVE (MUFFI) IN THE

 

           14              AMOUNT OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS $1,000,000.00

 

           15              THROUGH THE PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE

 

           16              AGENCY (PHFA); ACCEPTING AND DISBURSING THE

 

           17              GRANT IF THE APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL; AND

 

           18              TO COORDINATE THE USE OF THE GRANT FUNDS

 

           19              WITH "JEFFERSON- WERNER, LLC", THE

 

           20              DEVELOPER, OR ITS DESIGNEE FOR THE PROJECT

 

           21              NAMED AS "THE CONNELL BUILDING," TO REFLECT

 

           22              THE CHANGE OF THE DEVELOPER AND RECIPIENT OF

 

           23              THE GRANT FROM JEFFERSON-WERNER, LLC TO

 

           24              SCRANTON-CONNELL, LP.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

            2              Committee on Community Development?

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the

 

            4              Committee on Community Development, I

 

            5              recommend final passage of Item 7-B.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

            8              call, please?

 

            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.  Mrs.

 

           10              Gatelli.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           18              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY: 7-C.  FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           20              BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -

 

           21              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 111, 2009 -

 

           22              AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

 

           23              CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO

 

           24              ENTER INTO A SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT TO

 

           25              SUBORDINATE ITS RECORDED MORTGAGE DATED MAY


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              27, 2004 IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF

 

            2              $250,000.00, SECURED UPON PROPERTIES LOCATED

 

            3              IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON MORE COMMONLY KNOWN

 

            4              AS 119 JEFFERSON AVENUE AND 617-619

 

            5              LACKAWANNA AVENUE, TO A MORTGAGE IN THE

 

            6              AMOUNT OF $1,850,000.00 THAT 119 JEFFERSON

 

            7              ASSOCIATES, LLC INTENDS TO GRANT ON SAID

 

            8              PROPERTY TO PENN SECURITY BANK AND TRUST

 

            9              COMPANY.

 

           10

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the

 

           12              recommendation of the Chairperson for the

 

           13              Committee on Community Development?

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the

 

           15              Committee on Community Development, I

 

           16              recommend final passage of Item 7-C.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           19              call, please?

 

           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.  Mrs.

 

           21              Gatelli.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI:  Yes.

 

           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            2                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            4              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Before Mrs. Garvey

 

            6              reads 7-D, I'd like to make a motion to

 

            7              table.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Second.  On the

 

            9              question?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question,

 

           11              some of us had taken a look up there and it

 

           12              appears that there would be some difficulty

 

           13              if, in fact, the traffic light was put in

 

           14              there, so we are going to talk to some

 

           15              people and see if there can be an

 

           16              alternative possibility, stop-signs or

 

           17              something else, so we are going to table it

 

           18              until we can look into that a little bit

 

           19              further.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: All in favor of a motion

 

           21              to table Item 7-D signify by saying aye.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: No.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so

 

            2              moved.  Motion to adjourn.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  So moved.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your

 

            5              participation.

 

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                                                                      98

 

 

            1

 

            2                      C E R T I F I C A T E

 

            3

 

            4        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            5   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

            6   notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the

 

            7   above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true

 

            8   and correct transcript of the same to the best of my

 

            9   ability.

 

           10

 

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                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           13                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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